Every action – no matter how small or great – leaves an impact on the world. For instance, let’s consider the impact of development in Asia. The development has led to the contamination of river systems, while the forest cover is plummeting at similar rates in what is bad news for our ecological balance. According to a research by WaterAid, 80% of India’s surface water is polluted. At this point, it would be fair to question the entire premise of Asia’s growth-first policy. If 100 individuals are picked and asked if infrastructural progress should be reduced, the answer would be a loud, resounding ‘no’ and one can hardly blame them. People want jobs, abundance of resources and all the comforts that economic development brings. But - is there a way to developed while minimising the ecological impact? We think the answer can be found with sustainable development.
The concept of sustainable development is essentially centered on not compromising on economic growth, while at the same time being conscious of the ecological impact of the choices we make. Yes, the path of sustainable development may seem inconvenient to some. But, what is inconvenience when convenient options cause permanent damage to our chances of survival? At ThinkPhi, we understand the need for sustainable development and are trying to make a telling difference with our innovative technological solutions. How? The positive impact that sustainable technology can have on various aspects of development will answer the question.
Enabling Technological Growth
Technology has always been an enabler of human progress, but it has come at an environmental cost. Yet, the same technological advancement has provided us with critical tools to reverse this impact. To successfully implement sustainable development, there’s an urgent need for us to develop technologies that help us drastically reduced carbon footprint. Furthermore, there’s also a need to develop technologies that use cleaner sources of energy. Wind, solar and hydropower have grown because technologies are now available for us to tap into it. And more innovative technologies like solar carports and piezoelectricity.
Promoting Quality Life through Sustainable Infrastructure
Basic sustainability of human life hinges on the resources available at hand. That’s where the need for sustainable infrastructure comes in. We need to develop infrastructure that is able to meet the demands of a growing population. But, that can’t happen at the cost of risking an ecological imbalance. Through sustainable infrastructure, we have the vehicle to design, build, and plan out structures and public operations that don’t threaten these ecological processes. One such example of sustainable infrastructure is the implementation of the BRT-Lite system in Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos now has a well segregated transit system that carried 25% of the commuters on just 4% of the vehicles (buses), with decreased congestion, reduced fuel-consumption, and cheap fares to its people.
Empowering Cities with Self Sustainability
Our cities are centers for trade and commerce and carry the economies of entire nations on their shoulders. Since cities are where the money is at, it’s no surprise that people across countries are moving here in search of a livelihood. The same trend is applicable even to urban centers in developed regions. Tokyo is home to 25% of Japan’s population and while the countryside seems deserted. Over 54% of the world’s population lives in cities.
Are our cities really well-equipped to handle such population growth? Can urban residents live sustainable and good quality lives? Cities containing such a number of people is not the problem, the problem is if that has an adverse effect on the health of our people and our environment. Our cities can only sustain themselves if we adopt sustainable development practices.
Retaining Financial Growth
Our economies are shaped, to a large extent, by the availability of resources at hand. When a particular resource declines in availability and scope, we can’t let go of the output the industry used to generate, we simply move on to the next feasible transition, with some casualties along the way.
For instance, coal was the premiere resource for a large period of time from the onset of industrial revolution up until very recently. But now, the industry centered on coal has been witnessing a slow, steady decline, and we have adjusted to it at the expense of those employed in those industries. Now, with emerging reports stating that the jobs in the coal industry are being replaced by jobs in clean energy, we have means to confirm the trend. A conscious choice towards embracing sustainable development entails that you aren’t caught off guard when the reality of finite resources kicks in. A conscious choice towards sustainable development is a less painful, less rocky transition into the future – that’s where we come in.
Sustainable development is the gateway to a quality life, while not compromising on growth and environmental balance. There is a choice to be made. Do we continue our current path of development or do we choose sustainable development. Those of us at ThinkPhi, the choice is obvious. Sustainable development is the only way forward.